MovieChat Forums > Bob RobertsĀ (1992) Discussion > Do we agree with the politics or actuall...

Do we agree with the politics or actually like the film?


Okay, I'm conflicted. I watched this movie last night for the first time in years. I remembered seeing it as a teenager when it first came out and loving it. (And that was back when I still believed Reagan was the greatest modern president.) Watching it now, I can't help feeling like I did when I saw Fahrenheit 9/11. I love the film's politics, but I couldn't get over the fact that I just didn't find it a very good film.
Satire is a specific tool that should be wielded like a scalpel. Bad satire thumps you over the head like a 2-by-4, and that seemed to be what this did. There were individual scenes of brilliance, but the overall effect seemed to be way too over-the-top.
So I guess my question is: does anybody who loves this film actually love it for any cinematic reasons, or is it more of a pep rally for our political views? And what's more important?

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I just came across my VHS tape of Bob Roberts and have to watch it again. But just remembering it, I can see a little of what you're saying. As a liberal person myself, sometimes I get a little uncomfortable when the political agenda appears to be too heavy-handed, even when I agree with it. I think the conspiracy angles in the story if taken seriously seemed a little extreme. But, if not at all subtle, it's all in the name of satire. Plus those damn songs are funny and catchy as hell. And if you're a Bob Dylan fan, there's a whole other layer of satire going on with the album covers and spoofs of Dylan's "Don't Look Back" documentary.

Last fall Tim Robbins opened some Pearl Jam "Vote for Change" shows playing electric guitar with a small backing band. I saw them opening in Boston and they were billed as "Gob Roberts". The songs were as good and sarcastic as I remembered them. He even had a new song or two about the current administration.

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"Gob Roberts," really? I missed that; sounds great. There were definitely some very good bits in the film, and the music was some of the best. Righty Folk songs about hanging stoned hippies? Good stuff.
There were other things I found very good. The black member of the Roberts team who drops inane "street slang" into conversation to amuse other staff members, the scene where Bob and his guys turn the journalist's questions into an interrogation of his "liberal bias" motives - that was pitch-perfect stuff. Maybe I'm being hard on the film. Parts of it are a bit unhinged, but it does have plenty of merits.

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I thought the whole point of the mockumentary was to "mock" the right, so I would find it very odd that anyone on the right would just love a movie that was making fun of them. But hey, that's just me.

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Did I miss something? Who's the rightwinger in the group here?

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I feel like this film is somewhat childish. I think the Redford film, "The Candidate" covered the same ground but in a much more sophisticated manner.

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I think this movie is definitely a leftist pep rally, but I don't think that excludes it from having larger merit. Sure, America may currently have a lot to learn about manipulative right-wing demagogues, but the character of Bob Roberts could just as easily have been written as a manipulative, pandering leftist.

This movie isn't going to leave you wrapped up in its emotional complexity, and it doesn't contain any visually massive cinematography. It ain't Fellini or Kurosawa or what-have-you. But I think that the satire, while often lacking in subtlety, hits the mark pretty well.

The talk show "Are you a communist?" scene just about sums up American politics, at least for me. Screw the issues, let's appeal to people based on fear and labels and deceptively seductive simplicity. You're either with us, or you're against us.

It's perhaps a bit unfortunate that this film is so adamantly critical of conservative demagogues, rather than demagogues in general. But as a traditional moderate (which in today's political climate makes me a liberal, unfortunately), I have to confess that I need the occasional pep rally, just to stay sane.

OK, now I'm off to the blogosphere, to read about how unpatriotic it is to question the motives of power-mad criminals.

"All the best people have bad lungs and bone diseases -- it's so FRIGHTFULLY romantic."

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OK, now I'm off to the blogosphere, to read about how unpatriotic it is to question the motives of power-mad criminals.
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Sadly, there really are a lot of people on imdb who think it's unpatriotic to question the US government: see the Maggie Gyllenhaal board if you need proof!


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This is nicebat, my cyberpet.

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Z is a great film, but I'd put Bob Roberts at or above the level of, say, The Seduction of Joe Tynan http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079875/

It was entertaining and funny! If you want to do political satire, that's important!
The music (and the whole "anti-Dylan" thing) was brilliant!
Jack Black, Giancarlo Espisito, Alan Rickman & Gore Vidal all turned in very good performances.
The beauty Pageant scenes were fantastic, and the Saturday Night Live spoofs were pretty good.

Remember: "Don't smoke crack, it's a ghetto drug!"

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt ... and then it's hockey!

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Z was based on the real life military junta in Greece (names changed); this was just satire in general.

L: I'm talking about a little place called Aspen
H: I don't know Lloyd, the french are a ssholes

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I have a conservative family member who loves this film. Of course, he also has a sense of humor. I suppose that helps.

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Didn't this movie ultimately make fun of political corruption? So those on the right would like it better since the Democratic party is far more corrupt. I say this as a Democrat on the inside that isn't brainwashed and thinks for myself.

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I'm a conservative, but I thought this was a very good, and very funny film. I don't think the politics got the worst beating, but rather the press/media.

#15
Martin Scorsese IS the best

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I actually think the film sends out a different message than what Tim Robbins intended. What we are shown is definitely a corrupt man and a religious fanatic, but, at the same time, we're shown very extreme liberals, who have no respect for other opinions and only seek out to blame everyone for what's wrong with American politics and society, albeit not presenting any solutions to the situations they so strongly oppose to. Tim Robbins is obviously a left-wing person, but this film is nothing more than non-conformist, and is very critic towards both conservatives and liberals.

Overall I'd say the script is occasionally ingenious, and the direction and acting are good.

PS: I'm not American.

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Too bad Hollywood doesn't make Right wing films but then they wouldn't be Hollywood if they did.

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Hollywood used toonly make right-wing films. But that was decades ago. Since the Boomers took over Hollywood, it changed it's stance on politics.

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